>Flying United (for the last time?)*

>Becoming one of my least favorite brands.

I arrived home Friday night from the sales conference in Las Vegas. It is good to be back with my wife and kids, sleep in my own bed, etc.

I have to say something about my flight experience. In my previous post I mentioned how great Virgin Airlines is. Now I have to describe my overall experience on United Airlines. Here’s how it went:

Tuesday: Trying to leave town with a 6:15 AM flight. We sit on the plane for an extra hour and a half because of a hydraulics problem with the plane. While we sit there they turn off all power to the plane, which means no lights and no air-conditioning while we wait. Another airline fixes it for United and we’re off. The planes lands with a teeth-rattling thud in San Francisco. We’re late. We all miss our connections.

Friday: Trying to check in my bag. As I stand in line and watch the person ahead of me, I see a man behind the counter working on the printer for the bag-tags. He disconnects the machine and walk away with it. I step up to the counter and the ticket agent goes to print my bag-tag and is stopped short. Where is the printer he wonders. Fifteen minutes later, after getting his supervisor involved and phone calls to tech support, he finally gets a tag printed and checks in my bag. I have been standing at the counter the entire time wondering what kind of airline this is.

Friday: Flying from Las Vegas to San Francisco, trying to get home after a long week. The flight is delayed because some fuses have blown on the plane. An hour an a half behind schedule we board. We are all wondering how old the United fleet must be. My gut tells me United may not be as safe an airline as they should. I pray I see my family again.

Friday: Flying from San Francisco to Oregon. The plane was delayed over two hours because the autopilot was broken. We were told that it was likely we would have to stay the night and take an 8AM flight on Saturday. My wife tells me my oldest is nearly in tears waiting for me to get home. They did get the plane running, but we landed in Oregon almost three hours behind schedule.

Ironically, the nicest United employee I dealt with was the boarding ticket counter person for the last flight – and it was his first day on the job! The others were not so friendly. I guess once someone has worked for United for a while cynicism sets in. No surprise there.

That’s three different flights, three different planes, three different mechanical problems, and three flight delays – all in less than a week! Nice job United! Most of us that were flying United for those flights have vowed not to fly with them in the future if we can help it. Remarkably, it still could have been much worse.

It’s good to be home… finally.

* * * * * * * *

I am not the only person who has struggled with United Airlines, check out
here, here, here, and here.

…or this clip from Mad TV:

*I had titled this post “United Airlines = poo” but my wise wife suggested I change the title.

3 thoughts on “>Flying United (for the last time?)*

  1. >That’s quite a story, Tuck. I’ve been doing a lot of flying myself in the past year (because of my long-distance relationship with Kristin) and I’ve had some less-then-ideal experiences with American Airlines, but nothing like what you described. I guess I should be grateful that it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.P.S. Next month I get to fly again and after reading your blog I double-checked to make sure it wasn’t with United. Nope. Delta. *Whew!*

  2. >And yet, it could have been worse: you might’ve flown Northwest.I don’t know if that’s a “glass half-empty” or “glass half-full” way to look at it, but that’s really not the important question. The important question is, “what’s in the glass?”

  3. >Damian, in the past I never had much issue with United. I don’t know why it was so bad this past week. It’s been years since I flew Delta, but I suppose the same thing could happen with any airline. The main thing is that one’s trip is safe. I hope you have a great trip.Brian, there was a glass?

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